New Brunswick Courts
New Brunswick Courts
New Brunswick Courts

The Chief Justice of New Brunswick

The Chief Justice of New Brunswick serves at the apex of the court structure established by the Legislature and exercises this responsibility in addition to the adjudicative and administrative duties that fall to the chief judicial officer of the Province. By statute, the Chief Justice of New Brunswick is sworn or affirmed into office by the Lieutenant-Governor, administers the oath or affirmation of office to the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench and to the other justices of the Court of Appeal, and has rank and precedence over all other judges of the courts of the Province. The Chief Justice is a member of the Canadian Judicial Council. As well, he or she acts as Administrator of the Province and signs all Orders-in-Council in the Lieutenant-Governor’s absence.

Judicial Matters

The Honourable J. Ernest Drapeau, Chief Justice of New Brunswick, is a judge of the Court of Appeal and exercises the adjudicative duties attached to that office as part of a team that comprises five other regular judges: J.C. Marc Richard, Kathleen A. Quigg, Bradley V. Green, Barbara L. Baird and Raymond T. French, as well as two supernumerary judges, Margaret E.L. Larlee and Alexandre Deschênes. The Chief Justice is charged with the responsibility of administering the Court of Appeal, a responsibility that includes chairing the meetings of the Court, as well as coordinating and apportioning the work of the judges of the Court of Appeal.

In addition, the Chief Justice has the power to determine the general policy of the Court of Appeal and the Court of Queen’s Bench in judicial matters.

Traditionally, the Chief Justice is consulted by government before any decision is taken that might significantly affect the administration of justice in the Province.

General Matters

The Chief Justice of New Brunswick is called upon to serve in several other ways, including: (1) chairing the committee invested with the responsibility of considering applications for appointment to the Provincial Court of New Brunswick; (2) chairing the committee responsible for the selection of Queen’s Counsel; (3) chairing the Statutory Rules Committee, which may inquire into and examine the administration and functioning of the Courts, the Judicature Act and the Rules of Court, the working of and arrangements governing the performance of duties by the officers of the Courts and the procedure of the Courts; (4) presiding over Bar Admission and Queen’s Counsel ceremonies; and (5) chairing the committee tasked with recommending Order of New Brunswick recipients.